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CargoNet, FreightWatch warn against holiday season cargo theft

CargoNet says Dec. 29, Jan. 1 and Dec. 24 are the top three days for cargo thefts during the holiday season.

CargoNet says Dec. 29, Jan. 1 and Dec. 24 are the top three days for cargo thefts during the holiday season.

Cargo theft recording firms CargoNet and FreightWatch International are warning trucking companies, drivers and shippers about an increased risk of cargo theft during the holiday season.

Nearly 150 reports of theft involving trucks and trailers have been recorded in the U.S. and Canada between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2 since 2012, according to CargoNet.

The most common days for cargo theft during the holiday season have been Dec. 29 and Jan. 1, with 11 incidents each on those days, followed by Dec. 24 with 10 incidents, CargoNet says. In total during the last four holiday seasons, CargoNet recorded $5.8 million in cargo losses.

Texas led the way with 31 thefts during the four-year period, followed by Georgia with 20 and California with 19. Food and beverage items have been the most-targeted, accounting for 31 cargo thefts worth an average of $62,717. Apparel and accessories were the next most common thefts with 10 worth an average of $457,293.

CargoNet adds that most of the incidents occurred in unsecured locations such as parking lots, truck stops and warehouses. The firm says the best theft deterrents include physical security measures, such as high visibility lighting, secured yards, high-security locks and security staff.

FreightWatch says that with both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day occurring on Sunday this year, many receiving facilities’ schedules will be adjusted, leaving more opportunity for freight to be parked for extra time.

FreightWatch recommends truckers and carriers confirming holiday hours with receivers to help prevent any unnecessary layovers with loaded trucks. The group says in-transit and warehouse operations will be heavily targeted around the holidays and suggest using “covert GPS tracking with an active monitoring program” to mitigate threats and assist in the recovery process in the event of a theft.

Notable thefts from recent holiday seasons recorded by CargoNet include:

  • $1 million worth of apparel and accessories from a warehouse in Newark, N.J.
  • $1 million worth of footwear from a secured yard in Edison, N.J.
  • $599,600 worth of footwear from a secured yard in Long Beach, Calif.
  • $250,000 worth of wine from a parking lot in Orlando, Fla.
  • $205,000 worth of food and beverages from an unsecured yard in Hanover Park, Ill.

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Matt Cole is an Associate Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at mattcole@randallreilly.com.